At the KDES Expo the Students Become the Teachers
At the fall Expo, Kendall Demonstration Elementary School (KDES) eighth grader Johanna Cruz presented a poster session on the English idiom “spill the beans” and how it translates into American Sign Language. Her poster illustrated the literal and figurative use of the phase. Cruz explained the idiom to one of the Expo visitors: "Two friends can be talking, and whoops, realize they have let out a secret unintentionally—they have 'spilled the beans.'"
At the end of each academic quarter, KDES students polish up their presentation skills with public presentations based on their studies. For this Expo, students from the sixth, seventh, and eighth grades used a variety of formats to share their work. Some students worked individually, others in teams. Students prepared illustrated posters, live demos, PowerPoint presentations, videos, and interactive activities to engage the audiences. The teachers and students invited parents and family members to come and watch. KDES students from grades one through five also came to view the presentations and ask questions.
Here is a sample of some of the other Expo activities:
PEMDAS Racer (Parenthesis, Exponents, Multiply, Divide, Add, Subtract)
Math class students created a floor game with an oval track for the game board. Visitors rolled a giant die and advanced their racecar on the track accordingly. At each stopping point visitors had to solve a math problem in order to move ahead. The game creators helped the young (and adult!) visitors figure out the necessary math operations to successfully answer the questions.
English class students tried their hand at movie making. They developed movie scripts with a plot, characters, costumes, and settings. Each script presented a scenario with a problem that had to be resolved. Students developed the identities and personalities of the story characters. The Expo visitors enjoyed attending the premier “screening” of the videos.
Modeling the Rock Cycle
Science students demonstrated various kinds of rock formations. They set up a live experiment using sugar cubes as a stand-in to show how a rock pulverizes over time. The audience watched as, with the help of their teacher, the students melted the hard, granular block of sugar over a candle flame and caused it to dissolve to make the comparison to how the Earth—on a larger scale and with more intense heat—can change solid rocks into a flowing molten mass.
The Expos, done several times throughout the school year, give KDES students the opportunity to share what they’ve learned with a diverse audience while honing presentation skills.